Richmond is such a great town, and I’ve always liked to believe that I have the best view of anyone. To the south, the river; to the east, downtown. No matter which way you look, my perch here in Byrd Park has it all.
And don’t you love having such a cool-looking tower near where you live, work and play? Isn’t it great driving by me and being all like, “Look at that awesome testament to Virginia’s brave World War I soldiers, memorialized for all to see!”
You didn’t know that World War I is what I was build for? You had no idea. Let me get this straight: You guys haven’t the foggiest clue as to why I’m standing here, do you?
Typical. Such typical Richmonder behavior. You guys have all this historical and important stuff around you and you don’t even take the time to get to know what it is.
Hell, you may not even know my name. “Oh, the brick tower thing!” you might say. “I love that thing!”
“That thing looks neat or whatever! I’m stupid and ignorant of my surroundings and duh duh duh duh duh duh!”
You know what? I’m not a thing, guys. I have a name: the Carillon.
I bet you’re one of those people that, even if you did know my name, you probably don’t even know how to spell it. Tons of people throw in an extra “i,” making it spelled “Carillion.” Others double up the “r’s” or they spell it with only one “l,” and you know why? Because people don’t care. They don’t care about history.
And they don’t care about me.
Some of you probably think I’m a lighthouse (see any tall ships around here?), or maybe a tower built in tribute to a single important historical figure (Robert E. Lee I could see, but that’s about it, though Arthur Ashe maybe, too).
More than likely, your best guess as to what I am probably is “something to do with the Civil War.” NOT EVERYTHING IN RICHMOND DOES, OKAY? There were other wars fought by Virginians too, you know. World War I was a biggie.
Involved the whole world, which last time I checked includes Virginia.
Oh, and here’s a pop quiz for you: How many bells are in my tower? You didn’t even know I had bells, did you? Or that they even ring on special occasions?
Fifty-three bells, down from the original 66 from when I was built in 1931.
Un. Be. Lievable.
Tell you what. You guys just go on living, jogging on by admiring my graceful beauty, going out with friends during the weekend. Get all drunked up because that’s all that matters to you kids anymore. Drink it up, folks, taste the blindness you feel for your remarkable, historic surroundings. Tastes precious, don’t it?
Hey, you gonna pass me one of those beers?